Stella’s Friendship House, named after one of our founding members, is a 9-month program providing housing and supportive services to victims and their children who have made the transition from emergency shelter, but are not yet ready to be on their own. Our transitional shelter is currently operating on a limited basis until secure funding is acquired.
What can be achieved?
The shelter and its resources are designed to offer a safe place for survivors of domestic violence and their children while they search for employment and/or work on continuing their education. Families receive supportive services in the form of case management and counseling throughout the duration of the program.
Offering the Tools To Transition into a New Life
In April of 2013, a young family of three moved into WCCS’ transitional housing program, Stella’s Friendship House, the first family to live there since 2010. All the staff, both shelter and Administrative, were thrilled to put our transitional shelter back to work! Then, in July, our second family was accepted to Stella’s Friendship House as well. Both families are doing extremely well. Our first family, a young mother with a one-year-old daughter and a five year old son, has discovered a deep sense of security and stability. The son is autistic and has been attending an excellent school program through the Whittier City School District. Mother has seen a tremendous change for the better in him since he has been enrolled in his special class. He also is served by the Regional Center and is home visited by a play therapist 17 hours a month. Mother is receiving therapy through WCCS and once she has saved enough money to purchase a small car, she will be able to begin her search for a job. She has an excellent work history and has already been offered various positions but because of the special needs of her son, and because of the age of her daughter, she has not been able to accept a position because of the lack of reliable transport. Mother continues to be optimistic about her future. She is in the process of a divorce and her husband remains incarcerated.
Our second family is comprised of another young mother with two children, a 7-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son. Both are currently attending school in the Whittier City School District and mother is seeking counseling for her children in the Whittier Community. She, too, has remained separate from her violent partner, and though there is court mandated child visitation, the father has voluntarily discontinued any visitation. Mother will be receiving her legal residency paperwork in October. She is extremely excited, because she is determined to work and save money for the future.
Both families have adjusted well to the Whittier community. They love the location of Stella’s Friendship House and the brightness and security of the apartments they now call home. Both mothers express tremendous gratitude for the opportunity to remain part of the WCCS family and are finally optimistic that they can advance their lives outside the cycle of violence!